Food and drink apprenticeships ‘hit’ the spot

FDF’s target to double the number of food and drink apprenticeship starts by the end of 2012 is bringing home the bacon thanks to dynamic internat campaign.

Yesterday the food and drink trade body, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), confirmed that, according to statistics from the National Apprenticeship Service and sector skills council, Improve, it is on target to double the number of apprenticeships in its sector by the end of the year.

FDF’s apprenticeship commitment was made in 2011 and aims to ensure there will be 3,400 apprentices in food and drink manufacturing firms by the end of 2012.

The commitment was made in light of urgent skills gaps in the UK’s largest manufacturing sector which has undergone a technological revolution in recent years with regards to manufacturing processes.

To help attract young people into a wide variety of apprenticeship positions, including production, new product development, engineering, finance and HR, FDF launched an internet campaign earlier this year. It was hoped that this campaign, name ‘Taste Success –  A future in food’ would reach out to young people, improving their perceptions of what work in UK food and drink production entails.

The campaign has been a resounding success in term of web hits for entertaining and educational videos such as ‘Chilli Baby’ breaking a 10,000 hit barrier last week. The video went live in March this year.

The ‘Chilli Baby’ video runs alongside others including ‘Sugar Rush’ and ‘Awakward Questions’.

FDF’s apprenticeship commitment is part of a larger ambition to see the UK food and drink sector grow 20% by 2020.

FDF Director of Competitiveness, Angela Coleshill, said the trade body was delighted to find it is on track with its apprenticeship goals. “We strongly believe that Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of attracting talent for the future and of bringing many benefits to our businesses including increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a motivated workforce,” she said.